Gloria Irene (Wasielewski) Kreisher: English Language Teaching Officer Extraordinaire and the English Teaching Officer Profession at the Department of State.

Author:Gosende, Robert. R.

On September 24 Gloria Irene (Wasielewski) Kreisher, one of the most effective English Language Teaching Officers ever to have served in the former United States Information Agency, passed away at her retirement home in Bakersfield, California just one month short of her 90th birthday. Gloria was born into a Polish-American family in Phoenix, Arizona. Her father was a building contractor and her mother and father were both loving and kindly but disciplinarians who carefully nurtured each of their children through their education. Gloria, the middle of three daughters, was always an outstanding student. She graduated from high school in Phoenix at the age of 16. Being this young her parents decided that she had better start her undergraduate education at a community college in Phoenix. She completed her associate degree at the age of 18 in 1944 and went on to the University of California at Berkeley where she majored in Spanish but also became fluent in Portuguese completing her Bachelor's Degree in 1946 at the age of 20. Her building contractor father was involved in the development of what was dubbed initially as the American Institute for Foreign Trade and destined to become the famous Thunderbird School. He found out that it was the intention of the AIFT founders to admit only male students. He decided that needed to change and with Gloria in hand he approached the admissions office for the AIFT and Gloria and one other woman was enrolled in the pioneer class for AIFT. Gloria received her graduate degree from AIFT in June of 1947 before she had turned 21 as a member of the school's first graduating class. AIFT quickly went on to become the largest school of international business and management in the United States. From its establishment some 50% of the student body has been from beyond our borders. Thunderbird was one of the first places in our country where American students could have a truly international experience on an American campus. Gloria later received her Master's Degree in Linguistics from Georgetown University studying while she was on assignment in Washington.

Gloria credited one of her faculty mentors at AIFT, Professor William Shurz with launching her career as a Foreign Service Officer. Professor Shurz was familiar with the U.S. Department of State's Bi-national Centers program which was responsible then for English Language Teaching Programs across Latin America. With his support and encouragement Gloria found her...

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